The University of British Columbia Medical Journal (UBCMJ) is a student-run academic journal with a goal to engage students in dialogue in medicine. Our scope ranges from original research and review articles in medicine to medical trends, clinical reports, elective reports and commentaries in the principles and practice of medicine. We strive to maintain a high level of integrity and accuracy in our work, to encourage collaborative production and cross-disciplinary communication, and to stimulate critical and independent thinking.
We have a goal of establishing ourselves as one of the leading student-run publications in Canada and internationally, and expect high quality from our submissions. We accept submissions in all areas of medicine, including but not limited to research, reviews, case reports, medical history, ethics, medical anthropology, epidemiology, public health, and international health.
Articles are submitted online (http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/ubcmj) via our online submissions system, OJS. The author must create an account on our Online Submission System and "Start a New Submission". Please submit articles as Microsoft Word 97-2003 documents. Any document in the format of .docx will not be accepted. If the authors are unsure of the suitability of their article for a particular section, please contact the appropriate Section Editor (see "Correspondence" below).
Authors must acknowledge and declare any sources of funding or potential conflicting interest, such as receiving funds or fees by, or holding stocks and benefited financially from, an organization that may profit or lose through publication of the submitted paper. Declaring a competing interest will not necessarily preclude publication but will be conducive to the UBCMJ's goal of transparency. Such information will be held in confidence while the paper is under review and will not influence the editorial decision. If the article is accepted for publication, the editors will discuss with the authors the manner in which such information is to be communicated to the reader. UBCMJ expects that authors of accepted articles do not to have any financial ties to or interest in the makers of products discussed in the article.
Formatting should conform strictly with the ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (http://www.download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/authors/icmje.pdf), also known as the Vancouver Style. Manuscripts not conforming to the UBCMJ style will be returned with a request for revision. Manuscripts should be submitted as Microsoft Word 97-2003 documents and written in clear, grammatical English, with 12-point font and double-spaced formatting. Articles should be written in a manner that conveys professionalism and is appropriate for a journal suitable for the quality and calibre of our publication. Manuscript pages must be numbered consecutively with the title page constituting page 1. We expect authors to include continuous line numbers on their manuscripts (instructions below) and remove all identifying information from the manuscript (include from file information tags) prior to submission for review.
On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Line Numbers.
Note: if your document is divided into sections and you want to add line numbers to the entire document, you first need to select the document. Click Select in the Editing group on the Home tab, and then click Select All. Or press CTRL+A.
To number consecutively throughout the document, click Continuous.
You can remove line numbers from the entire document, from a section, or from a paragraph.
Click in the document, or click in the section or paragraph from which you want to remove line numbers. If you want to remove line numbers from multiple sections, select the sections.
On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Line Numbers.
Do one of the following:
To remove line numbers from the entire document or section, click None.
To remove line numbers from a single paragraph, click Suppress for Current Paragraph.
A cover letter should be included in the online submission as a separate document to the manuscript indicating:
that the paper is being submitted for consideration for publication in the UBCMJ;
the address, email, and telephone for primary correspondence;
that the manuscript submitted is an original work and that the identical document has not been, nor will be submitted to any other scientific or medical journal or avenue of publication with the exception of conference abstracts (please see the UBCMJ copyright policy);
that all of the authors are aware of, and agree to, the content of the manuscript and that authorization has been given in the form of a consent form to use any information conveyed by either personal communication or release of unpublished experimental data;
the section to which the article is to be submitted (Academic Research, Reviews, Commentaries, Case and Elective Reports, Global Health) and up to 5 key words (MESH headings) describing the article;
1-3 recommendations for faculty or professional reviewers to expedite the review process. This is pivotal to our review process and authors must suggest a reviewer that will be able to critically appraise all aspects of the paper. (Please be aware that reviewers will sign a statement of disclosure indicating any potential conflicts of interest in reviewing the manuscript);
Each author's full name, relevant degrees obtained, professional/institutional affiliations, and if a medical student, medical school class and site (example: VFMP 2010).
In OJS, covering letters should be included as an attachment under "Supplemental Files".
No author identifying information should appear in any place within the manuscript. Identifying information may compromise the double-blind peer review process. Author information appearing anywhere in the manuscript may cause the manuscript to be returned for further editing.
The title page should constitute the first page of the manuscript and include only the title of the manuscript.
The abstract should provide a comprehensive, accessible summary of the material presented in the article and should avoid abbreviations. All submissions require abstracts with the exception of News, Letters to the Editor, and Research Letters. Please refer to the specific submission criteria below for abstract word limits.
The article should be clearly organized with an appropriate introduction, development, and conclusion. Longer articles should consider incorporating subheadings for more appropriate formatting.
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use any tables, illustrations, or figures adapted from other sources. The author must obtain a photo release form for any figure or graphic containing persons within said photo. Tables may be included at the end of the manuscript with each table starting on a separate page or may be submitted as a separate file. All tables must be accompanied by a table number as referenced in the text, title and caption, and should explain all abbreviations used. No vertical lines may be used. We accept the following file formats for tables:
Adobe Acrobat PDF
Microsoft Word (Word 97-2003 Document)
Figures and graphics must be submitted as separate files and named according to its reference in the text (e.g., figure1.jpeg, figure2.gif, etc.). Figures should be digitally-rendered; freehand-drawn figures, scanned figures and direct SPSS output will not be accepted.
Figures should explain all abbreviations used. Captions must be included at the end of the manuscript for each figure/graphic submitted with indications as to which image file it corresponds to. We accept the following image formats:
JPEG 300 dpi or higher, minimum compression
GIF 300 dpi or higher (NOT accepted for photographs)
TIFF (photos only, no text, minimum 300 dpi)
Images must be grayscale or CMYK (no RGB).
Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references cited within the manuscript. References should follow the order in which they appear in the text. Authors should use primary or secondary sources (eg primary research or review articles), avoiding the use of tertiary sources (eg textbooks, lab manuals, UpToDate). References must adhere to the Vancouver style. In-text references should be indicated by numbering within square brackets placed AFTER punctuation marks where applicable (e.g., Diane Wu and Pam Verma, UBC medical students, started the new UBCMJ in 2009.).
Authors must provide all relevant information when submitting journal articles, including both the full name and abbreviated version of the journal title. Unpublished articles and informal communication should also be cited in concordance with the Vancouver style. Manuscripts are limited at 50 references and authors are encouraged to cite the most recent references where appropriate. Abstracts do not need to be referenced.
Refer to the ICMJE guidelines (http://www.download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/authors/icmje.pdf) for more information on the Vancouver Style. Please note that there is a difference between Vancouver Style guidelines for submission and the UBCMJ's author guidelines: namely that all references should be listed in square brackets.
Both generic and trade names should be provided for all drugs, with the generic name in lower-case and the commercial name in parentheses and with a first letter in upper case. Drugs not yet available in Canada should be so noted.
Research articles report student-driven research projects and succinctly describe findings in a manner appropriate for a general medical audience. The articles should place findings within the context of current literature in their respective disciplines.
Full Length Articles should not exceed 3000 words excluding abstract, figures, tables, and references. Accepted manuscripts may be shortened for the print edition of the UBCMJ with complete versions of the article appearing online. Research should be divided into the subheadings INTRODUCTION, MATERIALS AND METHODS, RESULTS, DISCUSSION, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS (if any), REFERENCES, DISCLAIMERS (if any). Subheadings within sections are encouraged if they facilitate presentation of the material. Each full length article must include a structured abstract in the format of OBJECTIVE, METHODS, RESULTS, AND CONCLUSION not exceeding 250 words. At the discretion of the editors of this journal, authors may be required to provide more detailed information concerning the methods of submissions. UBCMJ reserves the right to publish the more detailed methods of submissions on the online electronic version of its issues.
Research Letters summarize research of a shorter length and depth. These do not require extensive elaborations regarding methods or results. Research letters should not exceed 800 words with a maximum of 2 figures or tables. No abstract is required for research letters.
If in your manuscript you acknowledge anyone for a contribution that goes beyond administrative assistance, you must obtain written permission from that person to publish his or her name. It is required that all co-authors and other contributors sign a disclosure agreement that accompanies the submission. It is expected that all authors have read and understood the UBCMJ Copyright Policy prior to submission.
Case Reports describe notable clinical encounters with patients or in a public health setting. The case should provide a relevant teaching point for medical students. Each case report should include an abstract, an introduction to the case, a history of the presenting problem, relevant signs and symptoms, diagnostic tests, and a discussion of potential treatment possibilities before arriving at a definitive diagnosis.
Following the diagnosis should be a brief review of the pathophysiology of the condition and aspects of its presentation and history. The abstract should not exceed 250 words and the article should not exceed 1500 words (excluding the abstract).
Submissions must include acknowledgement from the patient in order to be considered for publication. A copy of the written consent obtained from the patient must accompany the submission. It is expected that the author has read and understood the UBCMJ's consent policy prior to submission.
In addition to the standard submission criteria, case reports are encouraged to include a brief (200 word maximum) inset summarizing the findings in the form of a standard medical history SOAP note (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan).
provide an informative account of a student's experiences during a medical elective with the goal of increasing student exposure to a variety of medical specialties and training opportunities both locally and internationally. Reports should provide a description of where the elective was completed, the scope of practice of the medical specialty and/or training program and the student's impressions and reflections of their experiences upon completion of the elective. Elective reports should highlight the student's learning experiences and any unique features of the program. The submission of photos in support of an elective report is encouraged, although not mandatory. The abstract should not exceed 250 words and the article should not exceed 1000 words ( excluding the abstract). Examples of Elective Reports can be found at the Lancet Student (http://www.thelancetstudent.com/category/electives/).
The purpose of this section is to discuss academic literature and current biomedical research. Reviews provide an overview of a body of scientific work or a medical trend. Reviews may outline a current medical issue or give insight into the principles of practice of a clinical field. Authors may choose to review the etiology, diagnosis, treatment, or epidemiology of a specific disease. Articles may also provide a survey of literature dealing with the humanities or social sciences. Each article must include an abstract not exceeding 250 words. The full length article should not exceed 1750 words (excluding abstract).
Abstracts are not required for News and Letters submissions. There are three main types of submissions:
The aim of this section is to provide a platform for intellectual dialogue on topics relevant to the study and practice of medicine. Articles submitted to this section should correspond to one of the following descriptions outlined below. A 75-100 word abstract is required; this is not included in the word counts described below:
Subjective pieces relevant to medical studies, life as a future physician, or the current social context of medicine. Commentaries may draw on personal experiences to convey the writer's perspective. The manuscript should make use of current literature if possible. Articles should not exceed 1000 words.
An article that highlights the significance of an interesting research study or area from a clinical perspective. If focusing on an article, the author should summarize the research methodology and findings, critically evaluate the experimental design, suggest future experiments, and discuss current research trends in that field. Articles should not exceed 1000 words.
Book Reports are brief reports that feature a non-fiction or fiction work and explain its significance and context in the practice and study of medicine. Book reports should highlight key viewpoints and facts presented in the book in an objective fashion, and explain the relevance of the book to the principles of medical practice. The manuscript should include in its heading the book name, author, year of publication, number of pages, and printing house. Articles should not exceed 800 words.
This section deals with specific experiences or issues in global health; these generally fit into the WHO definition of global health as "the health of populations in a global context that transcends the perspectives and concerns of individual nations." Articles should reflect on current or historical issues of international relevance. Articles submitted to this section should correspond to one of the following formats:
Submissions will be initially reviewed by the Editors in Chief, Managing Editors, and relevant Section Editors as part of an initial screening process. Those articles selected for further review will be sent as anonymous manuscripts to reviewers: one faculty member, clinician, or professional expert and one or two medical students, all of whom will have experience or expertise in the field of the submission. The results of the review process will then be reviewed by the Section Editors, who will make a decision as to recommending the manuscript for publication. The editors reserve the right to edit manuscripts, overrule the decision of a peer reviewer, fit articles into available space, or suggest further changes to ensure conciseness, clarity, and consistency of the journal. Articles may be accepted for publication, accepted with revisions, or rejected for the current issue.
The UBCMJ is currently only printed in English and submissions are expected to demonstrate good grammar and sentence structure to be published in a professional research journal. Authors should obtain assistance from English-editing services available in Canada if needed. UBCMJ will not assist authors in article content or writing style, but will assist in minor grammatical errors.
We require authors submit 1-3 recommendations for faculty or professional reviewers to expedite the review process. We ask that the authors choose unbiased faculty reviewers with whom they have no relation. We recommend seeking experts in your fields of research from faculties of medicine, and research institutes from any academic centres in Canada
This is pivotal to our review process and authors must suggest a reviewer that will be able to critically appraise all aspects of the paper. (Please be aware that reviewers will sign a statement of disclosure indicating any potential conflicts of interest in reviewing the manuscript).
Authors will be required to authorize publication of the manuscript in its final format prior to its appearance in the journal. Should an article be returned for revisions, authors will have two weeks upon return of the paper to make the necessary changes and return the corrected paper to the corresponding Section Editor. Revised copies of the manuscripts should be uploaded onto the OJS under "Editor Decision". Should a paper be rejected, the authors will be notified as to the decision and be encouraged to re-submit after considering and responding to all the reviewers' comments and making corresponding changes in the revised manuscript. The re-submitted manuscript will be considered a new submission and will be subject to the standard review process of the UBCMJ.
The UBCMJ works within a strict review and production timeline. Due to the large number of submissions expected, and in order to expedite the review process, it is strongly suggested that authors submit their manuscript as early as possible prior to the submissions deadline. Earlier submissions are more likely to undergo review for the intended edition, which is a lengthy process that can take up to 7 months from the date of submission to publication. Articles that cannot be reviewed for the current issue due to volume will be reviewed in the next cycle of submissions with priority status.
** Please note that views expressed in this journal do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the Faculty of Medicine or any organizations affiliated with this publication. They are solely the authors' opinion and are intended to stimulate academic dialogue.
For any questions related to your submission, please contact the appropriate Section Editors. Thank you.
Academic Research (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Case and Elective Reports (email@example.com)
News and Letters (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Global Health (email@example.com)
Updated October 1st, 2011